SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A teacher at Central Junior High School in Springdale has been named the 2022-23 Mentor of the Year by the University of Arkansas College of Education and Health Professions.

Allyson Bailey, a career and technical education teacher for Springdale Public Schools, received the award during a surprise ceremony on Tuesday.

Bailey was nominated for the award by her teaching intern, Madison Phinney.

Phinney said that she has first-hand experience of seeing Bailey’s dedication and support in action.

“Throughout my internship, Ms. Bailey has provided me with a supportive and inclusive learning environment, where I have been able to learn and grow as a future educator,” Phinney said.

Phinney later said that Bailey had gone “above and beyond,” and that the teacher continues to check in on her and offers support regularly.

J.L. Jennings, the field placement director at the University of Arkansas, said that the award was open to all mentors currently working with University of Arkansas students.

“The College of Education and Health Professions appreciates outstanding mentor teachers like Bailey,” Jennings said. “Her dedication and commitment to her students, our interns and our community is invaluable.”

Bailey was humbled by the honor and said that Phinney was an excellent mentee.

“She teaches me just as much as I teach her,” Bailey said of Phinney. “I think it’s important to bring in these new, fresh minds.”